time flies when you're being a mum

Time to Eat tagged with 'cakes'

Fun with food and the occasional healthy recipe for baby and mum


11 Mar, 2015

I’m having a bit of a love affair with Northumberland at the moment! What with moving out into rural Northumberland, our Northumberland Castles Challenge with English Heritage, and Robson waxing lyrical in the wonderful Tales from Northumberland, I’m feeling pretty smitten with this gorgeous county. And now I’ve found a macaroon that is going to make you not only want to visit but to move here. Sorry to break it to you like that. Prepare yourself for the visual treat that is Afternoon Tea at St Mary’s Inn

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn, Morpeth, Northumberland

Afternoon Tea at St Mary’s Inn, Morpeth

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn, Morpeth, Northumberland

My best friend Alex was visiting last week as a goodbye before she leaves the UK for a new, fabulous job in Japan. When St Mary’s Inn invited me to review their afternoon tea, I just had to take my bestie for a final fling before she goes and leaves me!! *sobs*

Now, you may remember Mike and I went for a date night to St Mary’s Inn in December and had a wonderful time, so I knew we were in for a treat. I just didn’t realise how much of a treat!

We were seated in yet another room in St Mary’s Inn’s labyrinth of loveliness and again I was taken by the simple place settings and the wood burners in each cul de sac. It’s somehow grand but cosy all at the same time.

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn, Morpeth, Northumberland

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn, Morpeth, Northumberland

Once I’d finished annoying the other punters by taking a bunch of photos we sat down to enjoy a coffee and pursued the menu whilst we waited for our afternoon tea to arrive.

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn, Morpeth, Northumberland

And then it did. In all it’s beautiful glory… The St Mary’s Inn Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn

1. The savoury stuff

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn

(i) Sandwiches

Once I’d messed around taking loads of photos from every possible angle, we were finally able to tuck in. We started with the sandwiches, obvs, which were salt beef and mustard, cheese and pickle, prawn marie rose and egg and cress. The egg and cress won for me, it was so delicious!

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn

(ii) Cheese Scone

Then we moved on to the little balls of wonder, also known as the cheese scone. They were perfection, the only downer was that the butter was unsalted. As a buyer of organic unsalted butter, there’s nothing like the real deal when you go out for a treat!

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn

2. The Sweet Stuff

Then we were ready to tackle the cakes! Wow, they looked beautiful. Each one a mini piece of perfect art.

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn

We started our sweet journey with a taste of the chocolate brownie, being careful not to eat too much as it was really rich and there were still 3 more cakes and some fruit scones left to taste! It was, as the picture suggests, melt-in-the-mouth amazing.

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn

But the star of the show has to be this baby.

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn - The best macaroon I've ever tasted!

The lime and white chocolate macaroon.

I’ve never seen the attraction of macaroons before now but this one cake, sent directly from heaven, has changed that forever. A crunchy outer shell that reveals a perfectly gooey and chocolately middle. This is the macaroon that all other macaroons, nay, all other cakes will have to stack up against. I was going to elaborate and imagine a world where we all lived in Northumberland eating these macaroons and castle hunting…but that’s going a bit too far, so I’ll leave it there!

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn - The best macaroon I've ever tasted!

The rhubarb pavlova was also divine. The rhubarb was perfectly tart and crunchy, while the cream was just…uuuuuum. I really liked this too!

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn - The best macaroon I've ever tasted!

Then finally we had the apple tart, which was very sweet! Sounds crazy after all those other cakes, but the combination of the super buttery crust and sweet, sweet icing pushed us up to our sweetie limit!

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn - The best macaroon I've ever tasted!

We were then ready for our closeups.

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn - The best macaroon I've ever tasted!

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn - The best macaroon I've ever tasted!

Now you’re just being silly – it was the apple tart that did it!

We finished off, the way all good afternoon teas should, with a fruit scone complete with homemade raspberry jam and clotted cream. We might be a long way from Devon but this was still a mean and perfect finish to our afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Inn - The best macaroon I've ever tasted!

So there you have it – this is what you can expect from an Afternoon Tea at St Mary’s Inn!

What was the thing that had you drooling the most from this afternoon tea?! Are you considering moving to Northumberland now?

Of course you are! I’d love to hear your comments xx

I’m linking up with the lovely Michelle over at Bod for Tea and her wonderful linky Share the Joy!

09 Sep, 2014

I’m no baker but it was Gabby’s 8th Birthday on Friday, she was having her cousin’s over for tea so I felt I really should bake her a cake. So I sought out a chocolate cake recipe that was as easy as possible and this one totally fits the bill! No fancy ingredients, I had everything in the house, and it was in the oven within minutes. Thank you to House and Garden for this recipe, I hope you enjoy my step-by-step guide to this Chocolate Cake Recipe for beginners.  Enjoy!*

Chocolate Cake Recipe for Beginners! Click here and it'll be in the oven in 5 minutes: http://mumsdays.com/chocolate-cake-recipe-beginners/

Yes, I know the candles are somewhat wonky!

Chocolate Cake Recipe for Beginners

Ingredients

  • 175g softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 50g of cocoa, sifted
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

You’ll need a 7inch cake tin and baking paper and set the oven to 180°C

Instructions

1. Grease cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper, then measure out all your ingredients and pop it into a large bowl

Chocolate Cake Recipe for Beginners! Click here and it'll be in the oven in 5 minutes: http://mumsdays.com/chocolate-cake-recipe-for-beginners/

2. Mix that baby until it’s only just combined (takes literally a minute!), then scoop it into your cake tin and pop in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Sooooo easy!

Chocolate Cake Recipe for Beginners! Click here and it'll be in the oven in 5 minutes: http://mumsdays.com/chocolate-cake-recipe-for-beginners/

3. After 45 minutes you can check it is cooked using a skewer (it will come out clean if the cake is cooked). If it’s ready, leave the cake to cool on a wire rack

Decorating

One word. Nutella! (This idea came straight from my buddy Ashlie and her banana loaf!) Plus some stars and candles. The candles weren’t my first choice of colour but that’s what you get for shopping on the day! Oh and don’t be too heavy handed with the candles…

Chocolate Cake Recipe for Beginners! Click here and it'll be in the oven in 5 minutes: http://mumsdays.com/chocolate-cake-recipe-for-beginners/

Chocolate Cake Recipe for Beginners! Click here and it'll be in the oven in 5 minutes: http://mumsdays.com/chocolate-cake-recipe-for-beginners/

Chocolate Cake Recipe for Beginners! Click here and it'll be in the oven in 5 minutes: http://mumsdays.com/chocolate-cake-recipe-for-beginners/

Chocolate Cake Recipe for Beginners! Click here and it'll be in the oven in 5 minutes: http://mumsdays.com/chocolate-cake-recipe-for-beginners/

Happy girl in her plastic heaven!

*I had no intention of sharing this recipe but after my first attempt went so well (until I threw it on the floor as documented in this post 5 things I’ve learnt about baking cakes!), I figured I may as well document my second attempt for a blog post and share my new found knowledge!

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